"Well, with everyone now on the same side, perhaps you're planning to invade yourselves for a change. I find the idea curiously appealing. Once you've finished killing each other, we can plow under all the buildings and plant rows of flowers that spell out the words 'too annoying to live' in letters big enough to be seen from space."
REVIEW: I think JMS just sold me on Captain Lochley and all it took was an episode that actually focused on her getting the job done instead of arguing with the rest of the cast. In her opening log, she provides a recap of recent events, played - in a neat directorial trick - under her morning routine. I say morning, but I'm sure it starts in what we think of as night. And though she's as grumpy as Ivanova used to be, she bears the fatigue and frustration with more grace. Her solution to the telepath problem is going to suck, she knows it, but she acts anyway. Calling Bester - cocky, cocky Bester - is just about the only thing she can do at this point, and hopefully it's not what starts the heralded telepath war. Before he gets there and throws his arrogance around, she nevertheless makes one last plea for peace, putting herself in danger to do so, gunless, ballsy and shrewd. That it doesn't work isn't an indictment... and maybe it does work. All depends what Byron does next.
The mystery raiders subplot proceeds apace, and though we've got enough pieces to put the puzzle together, Sheridan doesn't. The Alliance aliens are ever worse off, letting their paranoia and the secret attackers' planted evidence turn them against one another. Sheridan and Delenn's solution get them in hot water, but it's a sound use of the Alliance charter. Didn't any of these alien races read the documents they were signing? Did any of them have their hearts in the right place? Or were they all strong-armed by a "show of force" like Earth was? Maybe some of that stuff in Deconstruction of Falling Stars wasn't so far off. The Alliance does act like a fascist regime in some respects, even if it's to enforce peace. It's all too precarious for them to just let certain races get thrown out, but really, if they're not going to respect the Alliance's ideals, you might as well throw them out, or they'll keep causing trouble. Nice speech from Garibaldi to explain why everyone's out to take Sheridan down too. We name wars rather than periods of peace because we're thrill junkies, who tag destruction as momentous events.
As usual, the best parts are on Centauri Prime with the show's two best characters. It's fun to see G'Kar enjoying himself, taking Centauri culture down a peg or twelve, but it's just a precursor to a test of his friendship with Londo. An innocuous clue (fresh spoo, of course) leads them to find Na'Toth (remember her? and yes it's the original) in a cell. Royal bureaucracy being what it is, Londo claims there's no way to free her until he's Emperor. A flash of the old G'Kar, angry and outraged. But soon enough, their partnership is repaired, and perhaps made a bit stronger, by Londo figuring out how to smuggle forgotten Na'Toth off the planet. He uses some of his pull as Prime Minister, sure, but most of it is possible through the precise application of his very own super-power - inappropriate boorishness. It's a pretty great escape sequence.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Between putting Lochley on the map for me, some political wrangling, nice speeches, and a sweet Londo-G'Kar plot, this episode is far from a "tragedy".